ADU STUDENTS PRAISE AL MAKTOUM INSTITUTE’S MULTICULTURALISM PROGRAM
Five students from Abu Dhabi University recently participated in the month –long academic training program in “Multiculturalism and Leadership” which was organized by Al Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Scotland. Held under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, the intensive program which concludes today (Monday) addressed key contemporary global issues of multiculturalism, leadership, international relations and cultural engagement. The program also introduced students to the history, culture and traditions of Scotland through visits to prominent Scottish institutions, such as the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh Castle.
Commenting on the importance of the program, Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University explained that the University has always been keen on encouraging students to participate in Al Maktoum Institute’s “Multiculturalism and Leadership” program. He pointed out that the program aims to prepare students to live in a multicultural globalised world, and enhance their skills through participating in the various multiculturalism debates and civilizational dialogue seminars throughout the program. “The program is such a success, that this is the ninth time that ADU students have enrolled, bringing their number to 35 students in total”.
Dr. Ibrahim lauded the pioneering initiatives organized by the Al-Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Dundee Scotland. He pointed out that the Multiculturalism and Leadership program is considered a strategic bridge for cultural understanding and communication between the Arab and Western civilizations. “The program also builds students characters, as well as challenges and expands their intellectual skills, preparing them for leadership positions in any career frilled they choose”, added Dr. Nabil.
Eman Balfaqih, one of ADU’s students participating in the Multiculturalism program said: “Travelling all the way to another continent without my family was the biggest step I’ve taken so far. This trip has taught me how to be independent and really shaped my personality through all the leadership tasks we have been given. I believe that it gave me a real boost and pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me discover the other beautiful side of the world.”
“My experience of traveling to Scotland and enroll in the program has been enlightening. The amazing academic program filled our minds with new knowledge and encouraged me to think critically about challenging issues. On the other hand, the social and extra curriculum activities have helped us to know more about the western culture and traditions up-close and personal. Overall, despite the stressful and condensed nature of the experience I would say it is the experience of my life time”, said Sherin Khalil El Gharably
On her part, Safia Al Ali explained that Multiculturalism and Leadership program is a whole new. “I didn’t expect that the program would cover advanced intellectual topics, i.e. Multiculturalism, Civilisational Dialogue. This journey means a lot to me; I’ve been introduced to a whole new culture, made new friends, gained vital academic knowledge and most importantly, enjoyed my time.”
Suha Al Assiri said: “The trip helped me to discover myself more and become stronger by enriching my knowledge with different topics and events. I was also really excited when we met the First minister at the Scottish Parliament, and it was a great opportunity to discuss different aspects of the good relationship between Scotland and the UAE”.
“Being part of the Multiculturalism and Leadership program at the Al Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies has broadened my knowledge and introduced me to many new topics that I wouldn’t normally explore during my studies as an Engineer; such as: Globalization, Multiculturalism, Leadership and Management. Moreover, this program has encouraged me to speak up and express my points of view clearly through debates and presentations with my other colleagues”, concluded Nada Musabbeh Al Kaabi.